We’ve all been stuck at home for weeks. There are no playdates, classrooms, or park visits to break up the day, and the kids are getting restless. Luckily, Florida’s museums, theme parks, zoos, and libraries have done a fantastic job of amping up their virtual exhibits and online learning opportunities.
Florida kids can take exercise classes, find fantastic crafting ideas, attend a librarian-led story hour, and catch a backstage glimpse of the most popular animals in their hometown, all from the safety of their living rooms. Whether your cooped-up child is into coding or coloring, there’s an activity below that they’ll love.
Get to Know Florida’s Animals
Gatorland’s School of Croc
Orlando’s Gatorland theme park has been doing daily “School of Croc” broadcasts at 10 a.m. Meet the animals, and ask questions that are answered in real time. Per its name, Gatorland has plenty of reptiles, but the broadcasts have also featured birds, big cats, and others.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
Every day at noon, The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey offers a five-minute video lesson and accompanying activity.
Jungle Island Adventure Eco-Park
Jungle Island, Miami’s adventure eco-park, posts a different animal-themed activity daily. Thus far, kids have been asked to design a new animal with an adaptive trait, make up a song and dance about primates, and create an exhibit out of craft materials. Each week is focused on a new class of animal and there are at-home science experiments to try. (Make your own slime, anyone?)
Ripley’s Aquarium has live cams, downloadable coloring sheets, and educational materials.
Know a kid who’s obsessed with marine mammals? Manatee Lagoon is posting daily videos and activities about manatees and other sea creatures.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
The Loggerhead Marinelife Center has created an entire at-home curriculum around loggerhead turtles, including an inside look at the sea turtle hospital where kids can learn about each patient and the treatments they are receiving.
Exercise Ideas for Children
- Cosmic Kids Yoga’s YouTube channel offers a creative, narrative approach to yoga for ages three and up.
- Download the free Go Noodle app and gain access to movement-based games and mindfulness activities. Their site also has a list of home-based activities for your whole family.
- Have a favorite Disney character? Stay fit by exercising the way that they do, with Disney’s Get Moving workouts.
Join a Storytime Stream
Missing your neighborhood library’s storytime? Try Storyline Online, an award-winning literacy program where actors read beloved storybooks.
YMCA Camp Immokalee
Dreaming of summer camp? Sleepaway and day camp may be off-limits this year, but the YMCA’s Camp Immokalee is offering online arts and crafts, live workouts, and other resources for kids and teens.
Out of This World
Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center has downloadable educational materials and a free app with interactive games and activities you can try at home.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not answers all your burning questions about the weird and the wacky at their Outside the Odditorium site. Watch YouTube videos about some of their favorite artifacts and download activity sheets.
- Frost Science museum has a science@home blog with videos, geared towards middle-schoolers.
- The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science posts daily science videos and storytime on its Facebook page.
- Want to learn coding? Code Monster, CodeCombat, and Khan Academy are solid options.
- Young at Art Museum has virtual exhibit tours and downloadable art projects and prompts.
- Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is offering free livestream art classes and at-home projects.
Need More Ideas?
The Florida Department of Education has an extensive list of online resources for students, teachers, and parents. The Sun Sentinel has a list of South Florida-based resources. My Central Florida Family has a well-organized and regularly updated list of online attractions. Help your kids document the strangeness, togetherness, and lack of togetherness they’re experiencing right now, by making a quarantine time capsule.